Sport

Bay boys learn lesson on and off the pitch

Players from the U22 Madhya Pradesh side and Wide Bay pose for a photo folowing their one-day clash at Newtown Oval, Maryborough on Tuesday.
Players from the U22 Madhya Pradesh side and Wide Bay pose for a photo folowing their one-day clash at Newtown Oval, Maryborough on Tuesday. Griffith Thomas

INDIAN touring side Madhya Pradesh may have farewelled Maryborough yesterday, but don't be surprised if there are more teams from the sub-continent coming our way in the future.

The highly-skilled under-22 side capped off its four-day stay in Maryborough with an 84-run victory over Wide Bay in a one-day clash at Newtown Oval yesterday.

Shubham Sharma smashed an unbeaten 124 off just 134 balls to propel Madhya Pradesh to 4-261 from their allotted 50 overs, before bowling out Wide Bay for 177 in the final over.

Madhya Pradesh coach Brajesh Tomar said his players had a ball and hoped to see more Indian teams tour Down Under.

"It's been a very good exciting trip and we've enjoyed it," was how he described Madhya Pradesh's month-long tour of country Queensland, which wraps up at Maroochydore on Sunday.

"We learned a lot of things from Australian players particularly the fielding and fitness is brilliant.

"It's been a good experience for us playing in different conditions and playing different wickets and so far we've played some really good cricket.

"Our senior team also came to Australia in 2009 and it's a very wonderful experience and we definitely say to one another they should come."

Although Wide Bay was completely outplayed in yesterday's limited overs contest as well as the three-day clash, opener Tony Andrews, of Hervey Bay, said the players enjoyed the camaraderie shared between the two teams.

"It's definitely something we'll all remember and it's probably why we're all here at the end of the day," he said.

"We've all had to take time off work and you do it more for the experience than anything.

"They (Madhya Pradesh) have been light-hearted and been good fun to be around.

"It's been played in very good spirits.

"While it's been a good challenge, it's been a good experience to see the professionalism in the way they go about their cricket and the way they conduct themselves."

A big challenge maybe but also a huge opportunity to learn with the upcoming local cricket competition and representative season just around the corner.

"It's been a great chance for us to test ourselves more than anything and take the challenge up to them," Andrews said.

"It's also another chance for us to get together as a unit and good chance to click and work out where you're going to bat."

SCOREBOARD

Madhya Pradesh 4-261 (S Sharma 124n.o, P Sahani 50n.o, R Tiwari 38; A Batton 7-0-45-2) def Wide Bay 177 (P Sanders 31, S Chew 24, M Fulton 21; S Jain 9.3-1-29-3, P Sahani 9-1-32-3, S Sharma 9-1-28-2)



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